Andersson scores shootout winner as Kings down Flames 3-2

Andersson scores shootout winner as Kings down Flames 3-2

CALGARY — Lias Andersson scored the deciding goal in the shootout and Cal Petersen made 26 saves as the Los Angeles Kings captured a 3-2 over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.

Alex Iaffalo and Viktor Arvidsson scored in regulation for Los Angeles (37-23-10), which moved to within five points of Pacific Division-leading Calgary (40-18-9). The Flames do have three games in hand.

With three-of-four points so far, the Kings conclude their three-game trip Sunday in Winnipeg.

Los Angeles also move three points ahead of the third-place Edmonton Oilers and are six up on the fourth-place Vegas Golden Knights.

Johnny Gaudreau and Erik Gudbranson scored for Calgary, which lost consecutive games for the first time since early January.

After a stretch of winning 15-of-17 home games (15-1-1), Calgary has captured just two of its last six (2-2-2) at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

The same two teams meet again in Los Angeles on Monday night.

After giving up six goals in his last start, Petersen rebounded with a terrific performance. He improves to 19-11-1.

In one stretch in the first period, he kicked out a pad to get a toe on Mikael Backlund’s shot, then stretched out his glove to deny Blake Coleman on the rebound.

In the second, he stopped Oliver Kylington on a 2-on-1 and seconds later got his shoulder on a dangerous shot from the slot by Tyler Toffoli.

Jacob Markstrom made 29 stops to fall to 31-13-8.

Andersson was L.A.’s second player in the shootout and scored by squeezing a shot through Markstrom’s pads as he cut in off the wing.

That goal would stand up as the winner with Petersen denying Mikael Backlund, Matthew Tkachuk and Gaudreau.

Los Angeles dominated overtime, outshooting the Flames 6-0 but couldn’t solve Markstrom. Four of the shots came on a power play when Elias Lindholm was sent off for holding but despite enormous pressure, Calgary killed it off.

Down 1-0 after 40 minutes, Calgary tied it 1:36 into the third on a power-play goal from Gaudreau. The play capped off an eventful sequence for the left winger.

He was crunched into the boards from behind by Kings defenceman Sean Durzi, drawing the cross-checking penalty. Then on the power play, Gaudreau turned the puck over to Alex Iafallo, only to chase him down and steal it back again.

Shortly after leading the Flames back up ice again, Gaudreau converted a Noah Hanifin rebound for his 31st goal.

The Flames then surged ahead at 13:33 on a rare goal generated from the fourth line. Milan Lucic and Sean Monahan combined to get the puck back to Gudbranson at the point and his shot through a crowd eluded Petersen.

But the Kings countered just over two minutes later with Arvidsson burying a shot inside the post. He broke through the slot and was neatly set up on a backhand pass from behind the net by Phillip Danault, who had his back to the play.

The only goal through two periods was Iafallo that came on a quick transition by the Kings after Gaudreau failed to get the puck in deep before a Calgary line change. It allowed Los Angeles to dart up the ice on an odd-man rush with Adrian Kempe finding Iafallo alone in front.

Notes: Tkachuk’s five-game point streak (four goals, eight assists) was snapped. Flames lost Oliver Kylington early in the third when he went heavily into the boards after a hit from Rasmus Kupari… Seventy of Johnny Gaudreau’s 91 points have come at even-strength, which leads the NHL.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 31, 2022.

Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press